App portal to create ‘cell moments’ for employees

Over the past year and a 1/2, garage hardware maker Western Digital (WD) has been in the throes of a large integration of three groups onto a single utility portal. After obtaining multi-billion-dollar competition within the past five years – HGST and SanDisk – WD chose to create a brand new, single application net portal as an alternative to selecting from most of the three already in use with the aid of every enterprise.

One of the drivers for starting from scratch with an unmarried corporate app portal is to help speed up the integration of destiny mergers and acquisitions and hardening cell protection. The enterprise also wanted to empower end-users by giving them open access to any commercial enterprise app they need on any cell tool.

[ Further reading: What’s the difference between MDM, MAM, EMM, and UEM? ]

WD selected VMware’s Workspace ONE cloud portal because it supports digital computers, consistent with WD CIO Steve Phillpott. “We do run Citrix inside the enterprise, and we desired to ensure the portal could run not simplest [virtual machine]-like abilities, but also the Citrix-kind talents. And, that’s worked out surely properly,” Phillpott stated. WD wanted a single cloud portal, which it has named “Launch,” to ensure personnel benefit from what Phillpott called “mobile moments,” a period he picked up attending industry conferences on mobility.

Mobile moments

“People have windows of opportunity for the duration of the route of the day wherein if the generation is there and available on their cellular tool, they will take benefit of it to approve a requisition or fire up some other app,” Phillpott said. “So we attempt to construct as tons functionality inside the cellular region to permit for the one’s cell moments.”

Phillpott said the portal also made it easier (and faster) to onboard new hires or personnel who were part of an acquisition or merger. New personnel can connect with present users on day one by presenting employees with an unmarred view of the employer’s business programs.

“As quickly as you get them up and strolling, all the surprising human beings can find out who’s who. If they’ve access to email, the intranet, Webex, and they are on a commonplace Jabber and Box, now they can fast discover others in the company, and it allows accelerated integrations,” Phillpott stated.

App portal

Dozens of energetic directories

Each of the three agencies – WD, HGST, and SanDisk – had long passed through preceding mergers or acquisitions before the buyout by WD. Each corporation had strategies for enabling employee access to commercial enterprise programs; most used some degree of username/password within dozens of different energetic listing domains. There is a little heavy lifting; Phillott admits to getting an unmarried lively domain directory rolled out globally. That undertaking was completed simply the remaining month.

As a part of the changeover, the agency also released the VMware AirWatch enterprise mobility management platform for its cell customers. “That’s in which the focus has been. As we go into 2018, we will appear greater at unified endpoint management (UEM),” Philpott said. UEM lets IT remotely provision, manage, and secure everything from mobile phones and capsules to laptops and desktops, irrespective of a running system.

One of the toughest aspects of the rollout changed into the big disparity in platforms. HGST and SanDisk, Phillpott stated, had accomplished 7 to 10 M&A integrations, and the organizations hadn’t even finished them before the WD buy. Not enormously, there has been no steady, centralized functionality – particularly one that could allow WD to scale applications to fulfill modern-day needs.

Phillpott said there had been a few 3,000 to 4,000 packages among the three agencies, and 4 or 5 dozen accomplished the same characteristic. “That’s a massive part of this. We want to position something that lets us manage better, better scalability, and ensure a perfect safety footprint. There are pretty some drivers for us transferring on this route,” Phillpott stated.

The consolidation efforts have caused an unmarried catalog of 500 to 600 apps; personnel can select those most pertinent to work they want to do and upload the hyperlink to their bookmark web page for easy access. One larger challenge was building out that single catalog and consolidating simply below 100 lively listing domains and networks. “We were jogging a parallel venture to consolidate to a single active directory shared or what we called AD. Shared domain,” Phillpott stated.

Consolidating into one platform is peculiar and complex.

What WD has carried out isn’t always traditional, keeping with Jack Gold, the predominant analyst for J. Gold Associates. Even when companies merge with others, they generally stick with the interfaces they’re acquainted with, even supposing it is somewhat old-fashioned. “Companies don’t generally rip and update until there is a specific want to achieve this. There’s a whole lot of motives they pick no longer to price and complexity being,” Gold stated. “Not only are you changing the software program, you need to retrain all your customers.”

For instance, many corporations continue to apply Lotus Notes for commercial enterprise gadgets or subsidiaries and Microsoft Exchange or Outlook for others because transferring from one platform to every other is hard and high-priced, Gold said. “A lot of groups are saying, ‘If it works, why mess with it?'” he said. “What’s secret’s if it’s going to price me $10 million to move, No. 1, what’s the ROI? and No. 2, if I use that money for something else, would it not be better for my agency?

“I’ve just no longer seen it as a huge priority,” Gold added. For WD, the rollout became no cakewalk. One of the larger hurdles turned into exchange management or getting to give up customers who were creatures of addiction on board the new portal.